The skills you gain through studying an English degree are marketable in most career areas. Find some ideas about what you could do…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

As English is a non-vocational course, the skills developed outside your study are also vital in developing a well-rounded CV. While at university, for example, many English students write for student newspapers and magazines, get involved with student radio or film societies, or volunteer in the community or local schools. The combination of evidence of skills gained from work experience and extracurricular activities, as well as through study, can help boost your job prospects.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

English graduates find opportunities with many different employers. Public and private sector organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS), educational institutions, local and national government, financial and legal firms, and voluntary and charitable organisations employ English graduates in a range of roles, including:

  • administration;
  • research;
  • finance;
  • general management.

Other typical employers include:

  • publishing companies;
  • advertising marketing and public relations agencies;
  • media organisations.

The retail, leisure and tourism sectors also typically recruit English graduates.

Find information on employers in media and internet, marketing, advertising and PR, public services and administration and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

The major strength of all English graduates is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Studying an English degree also develops skills in:

  • independent working;
  • time management and organisation;
  • planning and researching written work;
  • articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories;
  • leading and participating in discussions;
  • negotiation and teamworking to present ideas and information;
  • effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively;
  • using your judgement to weigh up alternative perspectives;
  • critical reasoning and analysis;
  • using IT.

Further study

Some English graduates choose to continue their academic studies by doing an MA or a PhD, while others choose to study more vocational postgraduate courses in areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship or law. Such courses allow you to study in an area you wish to enter as a career. More information on funding for postgraduate study and research is available from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

English graduates may decide to undertake further study in areas such as marketing and management, finance, human resource management and business to enhance their knowledge of a specific career area.

For more information on further study and find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do English graduates do?

A fifth of graduates go on to further study, almost a third of whom are studying towards a teacher training qualification and a quarter continue to study English.

Further study20.3
Working and studying6.8
Graduate destinations for English
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and bar work18.7
Marketing, PR and sales15.4
Secretarial and numerical clerks13
Arts, design and media9.5
Types of work entered in the UK

For a detailed breakdown of what English graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Find out more

The English Association - resource for those interested in English at all levels, from primary to higher education.